Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cruise Ships: How to Score a Perfect 100 in a US Public Health Inspection

Most passengers don’t give the cleanliness of their cruise ship a second thought because everything appears spotless and there are crewmembers present vacuuming and polishing at all hours. However, there are people who care very deeply about cleanliness in areas most passenters will never see. Did you know that the Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) developed its Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), which operates under the U.S. Public Health Service Act, to inspect all cruise ships that offer foreign itineraries with U.S. ports, and assist the cruise ship industry in the implementation of systems to protect the health of travelers? Under the VSP, cruise ships are subject to unannounced health inspections.

Here’s the scene aboard Crystal Cruise’ ultra-luxurious, award-winning Crystal Symphony recently. Following an intensive inspection by a team of U.S. Public Health officers, Crystal Symphony received a “perfect” score of 100 from the CDC. The audit occurred during the ship’s Oct 21st call in Boston, Massachusetts. Scoring is based on 41 inspection items of the potable water system; food preparation and storage areas; waste management systems, including filters, ventilation devices and sanitizing temperatures; cleaning sequences and standards of accommodations and public areas; and general environmental health issues. Swimming pools and spas are also inspected. In addition, fleetmate Crystal Serenity received a perfect 100 during her most recent call in Canada in May.

While it didn’t hurt that earlier in the month Crystal Symphony emerged from drydock with freshly redesigned Crystal Penthouses and Penthouse Suites, elegant Lido Café and Prego Italian restaurant and completely transformed pool deck, among other transformations. The $25+ million makeover reinforced Crystal’s commitment to delivering a product that consistently earns the industry’s top accolades. However, it doesn't take an intense rejuvenation for a ship to receive a perfect score from the CDC. What it does take, though, is a lot of hard work, dedication, determination, and pride.

For more information about how cruise ships rank, Cruise Diva offers a summary of CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected, as well as a chart indicating the ones that have achieved perfection.

Additional information about Crystal Cruises can be found on their web site.

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